Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Prayer Request 5/21 - 5/28

Doing business in China takes a lot of cash because Chinese authorities refuse to print any bill larger than the 100-renminbi note. That’s equivalent to $16. Since 1988, the 100-renminbi note, graced by Mao Zedong’s visage, has been the largest note in circulation. Generally speaking, Chinese believers are much wealthier now than they were twenty years ago, but offerings in the churches have not increased much. We praise God for the economic improvement, and we give thanks and give back to Him for the blessings in physical and emotional and all the talents He has given us.
Financial experts often suggest that printing larger denomination notes might fuel inflation. But there is another reason. The government doesn’t want a larger bill because of corruption, feeling it would help facilitate corrupt payments to officials. Chinese are not poor, but they fear not having enough and inflation. We pray that believers will have faith in God, just as the prophet Malachi said, never to rob the Lord of our tithe, and all of us can experience the outpouring of God’s blessing from above because we give to Him generously.
The average Chinese trusts neither the Chinese banks nor the Communist Party. This is simply a mistrust of government so lots of people deal only in cash. The rich also deal in cash, to hide their money and to avoid government scrutiny of their wealth. Chinese accumulate and hide their cash, but they fear thieves and robbers. We pray that believers are good stewards of what God gives them. To those to whom God gives much, He also asks much as well. May we each be a channel of His blessing, and freely give because we have freely received.
The PLA is the world's largest military force, about 2.3 million strong. Annually, about 10,000 officers retire. Retired officers or soldiers are given civilian jobs preferentially. In 2013, in addition to the retired soldiers, 40,000 officers have also received civilian jobs. Many pastors retire every year, but they receive little or no pay in their retirement They must depend on their children or live by faith. Let us pray for health and the meeting of financial needs for all the retired ministers . May the Lord grant them the joy of seeing the fruit of their labors.
Senior retired military officers in China can receive assignments to state-owned companies. For the soldiers, those who are demobilized also are given jobs preferentially and also receive free college tuition. There is still a lot of room for improvement for the financial support of Chinese pastors when they retire. We pray that believers know the importance and the need to provide financially for their pastors, because only the church ministers do not receive a pension from the government.
Until 2012, there were “at least” one million families in China that had lost their only child, About 76,000 families are added to the sad roster each year. There’s even a word for this special pain here: “shidu,” or “lose single.” We can all imagine how tragic it is to lose an only child. We pray that more Christians will rise up to care all these saddened parents. May the Lord comfort them, because our Heavenly Father lost His only begotten son to die on the Cross for us too.
Increasingly, families whose only child has died are being referred to in China as a “vulnerable social group”. Since children are often the main source of income for parents in their old age, parents face being plunged into poverty. Many elderly people in churches are not getting adequate care and financial support. We pray that more believers will be caring and merciful. We give praise for all the believers serving in churches by caring for the elderly. The Lord bless and reward their love because they are merciful.

因為官方拒絕發行面額超過一百元的紙幣(相等於十六美元),印著毛澤東頭像的百元人民幣是中國面額最大的貨幣。 一般而言,現今的中國信徒比二十世紀的信徒已經富裕得多,但是教會的獻金並沒有顯著的加增。我們為信徒的經濟狀況有改善感恩的同時,也求主給我們常存感恩的心,把從神來的歸給祂,不單是金錢,更是身、心與才智都歸神使用。

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